Whether you are interested in purchasing or adopting a Shiba Inu or you are a new owner of this dog breed, it would be beneficial to know about its growth rate and how much it usually weighs in comparison to its age as it would tell a lot about its state and health condition.
According to American Kennel Club Official Shiba Inu Standard, a full-grown male Shiba Inu has an average weight of 23 pounds, while a full-grown female Shiba Inu has an average weight of 17 pounds. This breed becomes fully grown and stops growing at the age of 12 months.
In this article, I’ll be presenting to you the essential data and information that you should know about Shiba Inu’s weight and growth. I also included some tips about how to help your Shiba lose or gain weight. What are you waiting for? Read on!
Shiba Inu Typical Growth Curve (Weight vs. Age)
Because of its compact muscles, perfect body proportion, and a thick double coat that makes it look like a teddy bear, Shiba Inu looks big in photos. However, they still fall under the small to medium-sized breed.
When it comes to the growth rate of Shiba Inu, a male Shiba tends to be taller and heavier than its female counterpart. In the table below, you will see the growth rate of the Shiba Inu as per sex.
|Age (Months)||Male Weight (lbs)||Female Weight (lbs)|
|3||7 – 10||6 – 8|
|4||9 – 13||8 – 11|
|5||11 – 16||10 – 13|
|6||13 – 18||11 – 15|
|7||15 – 19||13 – 16|
|8||16 – 20||13.5 – 17|
|9||16.5 – 21||14 – 17.5|
|10||17 – 22||14.5 – 18|
|11||17.5 – 23||15 – 18.5|
|>12||18 – 24||16 – 19|
If you have noticed, the data shows that male Shibas tend to grow slightly heavier than the female ones in the overall scale. If your Shiba’s weight falls in between the given range, then there is no need for you to worry.
Nonetheless, if you think that your pet’s growth is falling short for its age, you can always have it checked by a veterinarian to ease your worries.
At What Age Do Shiba Inus Stop Growing?
Shiba’s growth spurt occurs between three to seven months before gradually slowing down. Most Shiba Inu stop growing at the age of 12 months.
At this age, both male and female Shibas become full-grown in terms of height and weight. However, there will be special cases where larger Shibas still grow until 18 months.
There is not much difference between a full-grown Shiba and a young one in terms of appearance. The fox-like looks with the pointy ears will remain the same. The only significant change you will notice is how the body of an adult Shiba becomes more evenly-proportioned.
Shiba Inu Lifespan: How Long Do Shiba Inus Live?
Length and Height of Shiba Inus
What makes this breed astoundingly beautiful is not just its dignified posture but also its perfect head-to-body proportion and compact muscles.
This is due to the fact that their height to length ratio as per the official Shiba Inu standards provided by AKC is 10:11 for males, with females slightly longer.
The height of a male Shiba ranges from 14 ½ to 16 ½ inches while a female Shiba can stand from 13 ½ to 15 ½ inches tall. However, you should note that these numbers can be greatly affected by the nutrition, genetics, and health conditions of your Shiba Inu.
Obese and Overgrown Shiba Inus
Because of Shiba’s energetic and spirited inherent traits, most people think that this breed is not prone to obesity. However, this is not true at all. Shibas are as vulnerable to obesity and overgrowth just like other breeds.
Most of the time, this is due to the owner’s lack of awareness about the proper nutrition and exercise that should be given to its pet.
According to a study, obesity will likely take almost two years off your pet’s lifespan. So if you want to lengthen the life expectancy of your pet Shiba, you better start weighing it off.
Just judging by the appearance of your pet isn’t enough as the thick double coat of Shiba’s sometimes deceives the eyes.
As the popular saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” As early as possible, you must monitor the growth of your Shiba because you don’t want your dog to suffer the following adverse effects of obesity:
- Respiratory Ailments (difficulty in breathing): Due to the buildup of excess fats in the chest cavity, obese dogs develop difficulty in breathing as the passage of air narrows down. Because of this, the lungs cannot function well which interrupts the whole respiratory system.
- Decreased Stamina: As a result of gaining more weight than what the body system can hold normally, obese dogs tend to lose energy easily and get tired immediately because the muscles and different organs in the body need to work harder. This is also a chain effect of the lack of oxygen in the body as a result of the difficulty in breathing.
- Diabetes Mellitus: This is very common in overweight dogs. This happens when the level of blood glucose in the body is too high due to insulin insufficiency or the development of insulin-resistant cells. Having such a condition can lead to more serious health problems.
- Osteoarthritis (inflammation of joints): Due to heaviness, the joints and bones in the body are required to carry excess weight which sooner damages them. The damages on the joints and ligaments result in pain, inflammation, decreased range of motion, and the development of bone spurs.
- Tumors: Studies suggest that overweight dogs have an increased chance of acquiring cancerous tumors like urinary bladder cancer and mammary cancer.
How to Tell If Your Shiba Inu Is Overweight or Underweight?
Judging if your Shiba is overweight or underweight just by the appearance won’t be enough as their body composition is compact added to the fact that they have a thick double coat.
In this section, I’ll be providing the specific signs on how you can check if your Shiba is overweight or underweight.
Underweight Shiba Inu
There are many factors that could contribute to a dog’s growth, including nutrition and health conditions. Although obesity is more prevalent, malnutrition is still a case that no pet owner should ignore.
Poor nutrition or diet is the primary culprit why a dog is underweight. You might be providing your pet the right amount of food every day but the question is: does it contain the right amount of nutrition? The right amount of kibbles does not equate to a balanced nutritional diet.
Here are some of the signs that you should observe to see if your Shiba is underweight:
- You can see the mark of the ribs on your dog’s skin.
- The spinal cord, hip bone, ribs, and shoulder bones are easy to feel as if no muscles lie beneath the coat.
- Looking from above your dog, you can see the abdomen of the dog, which is the space between the hip and the rib cage, is too narrow.
- Looking from the side of your dog, you can see the steep inclination of the belly from the rib cage to the waist.
- Your dog becomes inactive due to a lack of energy.
- The weight of your dog doesn’t fall under the right bracket with its age.
- Some dogs start to shed fur when they suffer malnutrition.
These are just some of the signs that you can observe to initially assess whether your Shiba is underweight. To ease your worries away, you can visit the nearest veterinary clinic in your area to have your dog checked.
Veterinarians have a multitude of knowledge-based and definitive ways of diagnosing a dog’s condition. Also, you can take the time to ask for pieces of advice in taking care of your dog.
Ideal Weight Shiba Inu
The ideal weight for Shiba Inu varies per sex. Male Shibas are expected to grow bigger than their female counterpart. According to AKC, full-grown male Shibas have an average weight of 23 pounds while female ones have an average weight of 17 pounds.
Full-grown healthy Shibas have a compact body build which makes them look sturdy and muscular. You can always check the growth scale of Shiba Inu presented in this article to see if your dog’s weight matches its age.
In the meantime, here are the other signs that you can observe to see if your Shiba has a healthy weight:
- Health dogs have a distinct body shape that looks like an hourglass when seen from above. You can check the body shape of your dog by standing right in front of its face – not too narrow and not bulging.
- Healthy dogs have a slightly inclined abdomen from the waist sloping downwards to the rib cage – not too steep and not sagging.
- Healthy Shibas are naturally spirited and agile.
- Ribs can be felt just by gently pressing against the skin.
Achieving and maintaining an ideal weight for your dog will require keen observation of the nutritional value of your dog’s diet and regular physical activities. Shibas are active dogs as they were historically bred for hunting. That’s why they must always be physically active.
Overweight Shiba Inu
Studies show that Shiba is one of the dog breeds that are susceptible to obesity. Obesity among pets is alarming as it poses a grave threat to their health as mentioned earlier in this article.
Spotting the signs of obesity early on could help you extend your dog’s lifespan. Here are some of the signs of obesity that you should be aware of:
- If you look above your dog, its abdomen is bulging out.
- The abdomen of your dog is sagging when it walks.
- You cannot feel your dog’s spinal cord and ribs due to the thick layer of fat underneath its coat.
- Obese dogs tend to become lazy or inactive. This could be a result of joint problems or energy consumption issues.
- Overweight dogs develop digestive problems.
- They also have difficulty in breathing, especially when doing physical activities.
Obesity can lessen the lifespan of your beloved pet. Proper nutrition and regular exercise are important in maintaining the ideal weight for your dog.
If you are worried about the growth of your Shiba, it is always better to consult a veterinarian as they have professional knowledge about this matter.
Overweight Shiba Inu: How to Help Your Shiba Inu Lose Weight?
Obesity imposes grave threats to our pet’s health which is why it must be addressed immediately. To help you with the weight loss of your fur baby, I’ll be sharing with you in this section some of the proven ways and tips on how to lessen your dog’s weight effectively. Here are they:
Balance your dog’s diet
There is no question why this is first on the list. What you feed your dog is what they become. If you let it take in unhealthy food (or junk!), don’t expect your pet to be healthy.
It is not just about the amount of food that you give your dog which matters. As a pet owner, you should be aware of the contents and the nutritional value you put on your dog’s diet.
Checking the nutritional content of the dog food at the back of its packaging is a must before buying it and serving it to your pet’s bowl.
As for obese Shiba Inu, you can’t just lessen the amount of food you give as it will lead to starvation and changes in behavior. What you need to lessen is the caloric content of the food they intake.
You can also try substituting cookie treats with low-calorie snacks like raw or steamed veggies that are good for dogs.
Increase your dog’s physical activities
Providing a balanced diet would never be enough and effective unless partnered with regular exercises. As a general rule, you must let your dog burn the excess nutrition it consumed, or else it will be stored as fat in the body.
Shiba Inu is an active and energetic dog breed so I am sure that they will love to have physical activities. It would be a good idea if you will encourage your dog to exercise 10-15 minutes a day through walking or jogging.
Playing with them catch or hide and seek serves a double purpose: burning fats and developing their social skills.
Underweight Shiba Inu: How to Help Your Shiba Inu Gain Weight?
I know! It’s alarming when we see that our pets are too skinny. Don’t worry though! In this section, I’ll be presenting to you the effective ways how you can help your Shiba gain weight.
Modify your dog’s diet
Probably, the root cause why your Shiba is skinny is the lack of nutritional value in the food they eat.
If you want your dog to gain weight, it’s not enough that you feed it with a large amount of food – it will only get bloated! What is important is the quality and nutrition-packed in each meal that you serve to your Shiba.
A high in calorie, fat, and protein diet would be best for underweight dogs. Adding treats to supplement their needs would also prove effective for their weight gain.
Visit the nearest veterinary clinic in your area
It is always best to seek advice from a professional. You can consult the nearest veterinary clinic for the best diet for your dog as relevant to its body condition score.
The vet might also give your dog boosters if deemed necessary. This is also to ensure that the cause of your dog’s weight loss is not a serious underlying health problem which might include: parasites, diabetes mellitus, and cancer.
Also, no matter how much you want your dog to gain weight, do not feed it with table scraps as it would cause a nutritional imbalance.
Tips for Weighing and Measuring Your Shiba Inu
Curious about how you can weigh and measure your Shiba? I got your back, pal!
Typically, dogs above 44 pounds are weighed using large pet scales. But since Shiba Inus are only 23 pounds on average, you can do the following steps to weigh them using a human scale at home.
- Step on the scale and weigh yourself.
- Step on the scale while carrying your dog (in case you can’t carry your dog, you can ask someone who can do it for you.)
- Subtract your weight to the weight when you were holding your dog.
To make the weighing more precise and accurate, here are the additional tips that you should do in weighing your Shiba.
- Weigh your dog before they are fed or given large drinks.
- Make sure that your dog’s fur is dry when you weigh them.
- Always do the weighing at the same time of the day.
- Remove any dog accessories when you weigh them.
- Do the weighing after they defecate or urinate.
You can watch this video to see how it is properly done:
- Neck: To measure the neck circumference, start at the base of the neck where the collar sits and place it around the dog’s neck. Also, pull the tape snug but not tight.
- Body: The measurement starts at the base of the neck where the collar sits and extends to the base of the tail– not the tip.
- Chest Girth: Chest girth is measured by putting the tape measure around the widest part of the chest, usually behind the front legs.
- Height: You can measure the height of your Shiba by making it stand still. The measurement starts from the withers to their feet. The “withers” is the top portion of your dog’s shoulder blades.
- Paws: The cute paws of your dog can be measured by tracing them on a piece of paper.
If you want to learn more about the ways on how you can measure your dog, watch the video below:
Commonly Asked Questions
Can You Weigh Your Shiba Inu on a Human Scale?
Since Shiba Inu is not that large breed of dogs, you can use the method mentioned in this article to weigh small-medium dogs using a human scale at home.
How to Determine Your Shiba Inu Ideal Weight?
The age and sex of your Shiba Inu play a big role in identifying the ideal weight. You can refer to the growth scale provided in this article or by considering their Body Condition Score (BCS).
At What Age Is a Shiba Inu No Longer a Puppy?
Shiba Inus are considered to be full-grown adults once they reach the age of 12 months. Most Shibas stop growing at this age as they have already achieved the peak of their growth.
Does Neutering or Spaying Affect the Growth and Development of a Shiba Inu?
Both procedures can affect the growth and development of your Shiba. Neutered and spayed dogs showed changes in their growth rate due to hormonal changes in the body. They could also affect the weight gain of your dog.
Ensuring a healthy life for our fur babies is a top priority. That is why it is only necessary that we make an effort to learn their growth rates and how to help them develop fully.
What I provided in this article are just the basic ways to monitor your Shiba’s growth. It would be better if you’ll seek consultation with veterinarians who are experts in taking care of our dogs.